In John 17:21 Jesus prays we'd be one but in John 10:34 He basically says He came to bring division even within families. How can He do both at once?
I submit to you to consider this question in light of our current culture war. It's a reflection of the war that spilled from heaven to earth in Revelation 12. It is a war between the father of lies (John 8:44) and the Truth (John 14:6)
The Culture War & the High Ground
The battlefield of this culture war we are engaged in is littered with numerous moral issues. I say littered because he who controls the language defines the parameters of the issue. It's like the battlefield if you will.
Our adversary the Devil is not stupid. He understands that occupying the high ground provides the occupier an advantage. That is why he and his children, in John 8:44 Jesus calls him the father of lies, seek to redefine moral issues. His goal is to create a faux moral high ground.
Here are a few examples which by the way, the Bible calls abominations. Abominations are acts which enact a spiritual law that causes the very land to respond to expel its inhabitants through wars, disease, economic hardship, natural disasters....:
- Redefining marriage so as to encourage homosexual relationships (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:24-27, Genesis 2:26-27 & Genesis 2:24)
- Enacting laws and or a culture that encourages promiscuity outside the context of marriage & incest (Leviticus 18:9-20)
- Sacrificing children on the altar of abortion. (Leviticus 18:21 & Leviticus 20:2-3 indicates those who sit silently on the sidelines allowing the children to be sacrificed are just as guilty as those who commit the murder of their children).
- Gender dysphoria was a new word made up in 2013 useful to the transgendered community who advocate more than male or female (Genesis 1:26-27). If I am not mistaken some lists up to over 60 different possibilities. Talk about the confusion of sin. This also plays into the narrative which promotes sexual practices defined as abominations in Leviticus.
- Remember, Phobias are "irrational fears." Fear is not a bad thing unless it is in excess. It's a God given emotion and meant to protect people. Creating words and adding phobia is often used by a movement to use guilt so as to silence any opposition who might speak the truth. Consider:
- Islamaphobia was a word made up in 1995 to help with Islam's cultural jihad. Since 9/11 there have been over 35,000 terrorists attacks and 99% have been carried out by adherents to Islam click here.
- Homophobia was a word created in 1969. Click here. Click here for a recent article by the CDC to see what doctors say about the risk. An older CDC report I recall seeing in 2010 indicated that those who practiced this lifestyle had a 300% greater chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
- These phobias are based upon lies and Proverbs 6:16-19 lists lies and false witnesses among the acts God calls an abomination.
Did Christ Come to Bring Unity or Division?
- John 17:20-22
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
- Philippians 2:2
fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
- Ephesians 4:2-3
with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- John 17:20-22
- Matthew 10:34-39
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to “set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man's enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
- Luke 12:49-51
“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.
- Matthew 10:34-39
Our Decision is What Brings Division
It's God's word and our response to it that brings unity or division. Jesus says in Matthew 10:34 that he brought a sword. We know from Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12 that the sword of the spirit refers to God's word. Jesus says in:
- John 12:47-50
And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
- Matthew 12:35-37
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
It is our decision in response to God's word which brings division. We separate ourselves as we decide how we will respond to God's word in each situation. Will we agree with the lie or will we agree with the truth? Will we repeat the lie or will we speak up for truth. You know, Ephesians 4:15 teaches us that love speaks the truth.
The Parable of the Tares if Unfolding Before our Very Eyes
In Matthew 13:24 Jesus shares the parable of the tares. In the parable the enemy sows the tares in the same field as the wheat. Strongs Concordance says the word translated "tares" are a false grain. They are "resembling wheat except the grains are black." It's like they look good on the outside by there is darkness in the heart of the grain. It is a bad seed.
- Matthew 13:30
Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
- Remember, Hebrews 10:7 the prophetic word regarding Jesus says "Behold I come in the volume of the book, it is written of Me to do Your will oh God." So this word is our Lord's word and it says in 2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”
God is using the moral issues of the day to separate the tares from the wheat. As the issues arise they have to make a decision. Remember, no decision is a decision too. Leviticus 20:2-3 reveals that a decision on behalf of people not to save the children was tantamount to murdering the children on Molech's altar. The silent were as guilty as the murderers.
Remember, each of us will give a personal account of how we choose to respond. We will give an account for every idle word we speak. That word, that decision, that action will be compared to God's word.
Bottom line, it is our decision. It is our judgment.
God's Word Brings Division
God wants those who have aligned themselves with His word to be one with each other.
Those who choose not to align with God's word separate themselves.
How Will You Choose?
As issues arise you have three basic choices. You can choose to:
- Ignore the issue. Make no decision. But I remind you that James 4:17 says, "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."
- Align, act upon and speak the truth.
- Oppose, act upon and speak a lie.
I choose to align myself with God's word and His truth as best I can. It may cause conflict with my family, my friends, some who call themselves Christians but their minds are blinded, with society, with my government... but ultimately all those things are temporary. God's word is eternal. The Truth is eternal. I have by no means arrived but I'm just one beggar trying to show another beggar where the bread is.
I think it is time to recalibrate our moral compass click here? What say you?
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.